Wednesday, April 1, 2009
HIV/AIDS and Condoms
My Letter-to-the-Editor published in The Mercury (Hobart) in which I said "Not using condoms does not cause AIDS",
created quite a stir. The federal member of parliament wrote to the paper and said "every responsible medical authority"
says condoms stop the transmission of the virus. He is wrong (in this case he could be dead wrong!). I hope the paper publishes
the following letter from me filled with heaps of data refuting his erroneous assertion.
8:22 pm est
Sir - Duncan Kerr, Tasmania's
Federal Member for Denison, says in the Mercury (31 Mar) that a condom can stop the transmission of the AIDS virus and insists
"every responsible medical authority" agrees. (I have mountains of research data with which to refute this statement.
A very few follow:)
Edward Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard Centre for Population
and Development Studies comments on the massive AIDS rate in Africa and says, "We have found no consistent associations
between condom use and lower HIV infection rates...".
Green goes on and says, "There is a consistent association
shown by our best studies... between greater availability and use of condoms and higher - not lower - HIV-infection rates."
(National Review Online, 19 March 2009, Weekend Australian 28-29 March 2009)
An exhaustive review of the impact of
condom promotion on actual HIV transmission in the developing world concluded that "condoms have not been responsible
for turning around any of the severe African epidemics." This rigorous study was commissioned by the Joint UN Program
on HIV-AIDS and conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, the HIV-AIDS capital of the US.
(Studies in Family Planning, March 2004)
University of Miami researcher Dr Margaret Fischl, at the Third International
Conference on AIDS discovered "3 out of 18 infected males have infected their mates while using condoms." (a 17%
failure rate) The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirmed these findings when they reported that "17%
of partners using condoms as protection for 18 months became infected with the virus." The Journal of the American Medical
Association also says, "Condom use is not significantly associated with protection from infection."
condom use so dangerous?
Social Science Medicine (Vol 36, No. 12, 1993) says "condoms are possibly only 87% effective
for preventing pregnancy and 69% effective for reducing the risk of HIV infection." Sexually Transmitted Diseases, July/August
1990, reports "32% of normal intact condoms leaked enough HIV sized particles to cause concern." Rubber Chemistry
and Technology, Volume 62, found that "Laboratory tests revealed naturally occurring voids (holes) in latex that are
50 - 500 times larger than HIV." Journal of Testing and Evaluation, September 1990, published the fact that the HIV
virus is so small that it passes easily through the condom wall because "there are pores (holes) present that are nearly
100 times the diameter of the virus." University of Texas researcher Dr Susan Weller writing in Social Science Medicine,
Vol. 36, No. 12, 1993 points out how porous condoms are and warns that "true permeability rates could be as high as 30
U S Department of Health Task Force says "There is no clinical data supporting the value of condoms
in preventing the spread of a range of diseases including; Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis B and HIV." St Vincents Bioethics
Centre in Melbourne says it is "misleading" to promote safe sex with condoms and even the Australian government,
in its pamphlet AIDS a time to care - a time to act says "There is no evidence to show that tests (for condom standards)
are suitable for determining the reliability of condoms as a HIV barrier."
Since HIV-AIDS is a viral disease,
should Tasmanians listen to the presumably well-meaning - but unfortunately misinformed - or should we listen to medical experts
like Dr Bruce Voeller of the Mariposa Foundation who is quoted in the British Medical Journal (even as early as 1984) as saying
that the condom cannot be trusted to prevent the transmission of viral diseases contracted by sexual intercourse.